Smiley: Pizza galore

“Hope you don’t mind another story about the early days of pizza in New Orleans,” says Gilda Barger, of Kenner:

“In the late ’50s, my two older brothers went on a double date to a movie and then to eat.

“Having never had pizza before, when it came time to place the order, wanting to impress the girls, they ordered FOUR large pizzas.

“I can just imagine the wait staff’s amusement at the look on their faces when the large pizzas arrived.

“I was the happy recipient of my first taste of pizza when they brought home some of the abundance of leftover pizza.”

Which reminds me

Many years ago, in the early days of McDonald’s in Baton Rouge, the burger chain came out with the Big Mac.

Two ladies who lived in north Baton Rouge, not far from the McDonald’s on Plank Road, saw the TV ads for this big burger and decided to try one.

But because they weren’t sure if they could eat a whole Big Mac, which looked gigantic on TV, they had the server cut one in half for them.

They said when they made their request, the look on that kid’s face was priceless.  …

Party on!

As I mentioned earlier, with considerable family pride, my brother Louis and his wife, Jane Crawford Anders, were king and queen of Oakdale’s Krewe of Muse Mardi Gras ball.

It was a festive occasion, with Baton Rouge’s great band Stormy providing the music.

As the revelry went on past midnight, I got a taste of small-town life when I asked one Oakdale resident, “Is there an after-hours joint around here?”

He thought a moment, then replied, “Well, there’s a Waffle House in Alexandria. …”

Finding your place

“As a New Orleans native, Mardi Gras music is the soundtrack of my life,” says Kathy J. Higgins, of Metairie.

“I love all the wonderful songs associated with it, several of which were listed in your Feb. 7 column.”

Kathy suggested two more: “New Suit,” by The Wild Magnolias, mentioned earlier by a reader and “a newer classic by Benny Grunch and the Bunch: ‘Ain’t No Place to Pee on Mardi Gras Day,’ which is probably the main concern of most Mardi Gras revelers!

“I hope you’ll listen to these two. They will definitely put you in the Carnival party mood.”

For the birds

When Alex Chapman, of Ville Platte, agreed to be a $20 sponsor for radio station KVPI’s “First Purple Martin Spotting” contest, he wasn’t expecting a quick end to the event:

“I’d heard of sightings in these parts as early as Jan. 25, but I assumed that with two ice storms, the contest would last longer than two hours!

But the contest started at 7 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 7 — and was over “right after 9 a.m., when a listener/birder called in and reported a sighting of a scout on Feb. 2.

“Next year, we’ll start the Contest on Jan. 1.”

Go for the glow

S.L. Babin responds to our question about LSU band members wearing lights on their caps with this tale of another band with lights:

“Around 1952-1954, the old Gonzales High School band had lights on their caps.

“The band would spell ‘GHS’ at halftime and have the stadium lights turned off.

“They would then play the school’s victory song.

“It was awesome.”

Thank-you notes

Bobbi Jo Guerin and Berlin Coxe, organizers of Watson’s Fourth annual Bird & Sausage Gumbo Cook-Off, thank all those who helped raise funds for Raven’s Outreach Center for Homeless Veterans in Baton Rouge.

More than 50 gumbos and other delicacies were judged; crowned champion was Colleen Frazier and her team “The GuRouxs.”

Special People Dept.

Robert Day Sr., of Slidell, was 100 on Thursday, Feb. 6.

He celebrated with family and friends on Saturday, Feb. 8.

Sidney Boudreaux, of Morgan City, celebrated his 99th birthday on Tuesday, Feb. 11.

Mamie Moore, of Hammond, celebrates her 91st birthday on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

Spelling coach

Juanita Franklin Shanklin says, “My 5-year-old granddaughter attends Northwestern Elementary in Zachary.

“We were watching television and the Geico commercial came on, about Old McDonald being a bad speller.

“He spelled the word ‘cow’ as ‘c-o-w-e-i-e-i-o.’

“My granddaughter looked at me with a straight face and said, ‘Mama, he should have sounded the word all the way out before he tried to spell it.’

“I could hardly control my laughter. Thank God for education!”

Practical partner

Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, tells a story about changing priorities that come with age:

“When I went for a haircut, the guys at the barber shop asked me what actress I would like to be stuck in an elevator with.

“I told them, ‘One who knows how to fix elevators.’ ”

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.